Friday, December 19, 2014

Fearless Fact Friday 12.19.2014

Fearless Fact Friday. 

Each Friday, on Facebook, I reveal a fact about me some might find embarrassing. 

I find the act of doing so liberating. 

Transparency is freeing. 

Why bother with secrets when something one says might have a fellow human being saying, "Me too!" or deriving pleasure from the secrets  tidbits I share?

A'int nobody got time for perfection, pretension, hiding  that

Today I share pretty much every white T-shirt I have has a spot on it, somewhere. 

Yeah, so about that. . .

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All Done

My Christmas shopping is done.

All done. 

In my closest circle of friends, we don't exchange presents.  Our friendship is gift enough. 

We don't exchange gifts in my family - biological or work - either. 

Instead, I buy gifts for someone in need. 

Thankfully, my home church provides an easy way to do so via the annual Giving Tree.  Along with AmeriCorps, we sponsor local families in the community. 
 This year I did 3 "gifts". 

3 is my number and these requests spoke to me the most. 

Everyone deserves a good set of cookware and warm gloves in my opinion. 

Hopefully they will enjoy them as much as I would.  Yup,  I bought a set of pots and pans with utensils and uber warm, fuzzy gloves with the ability to use a smartphone while wearing them as if I were purchasing the items for myself.  No skimping here this year. 

The Snuggie blanket is a given.  When you ask for one by the exact name I have to.  I just have to.  I am about the snug life. 

My other "gift" is to sponsor a child with my tribe. 

We randomly chose, or God chose for us, Zambia.  When I went to the website, and scrolled through looking for a girl, Rhoda appeared twice in the feed. 

Sign number 1. 

Her picture shows a fierceness in her eyes. 

Sign number 2. 

She likes group games. 

Sign number 3.

Her video has a rooster or chicken at the very end singing their song.

Sign number 4. 

Her birthday is my Mom's birth date. 

Sign number 5.

Her fashion appeals to a few in the tribe.

Sign number 6. 

Rhoda, we look forward to sponsoring you; all year long and then some. 

'Tis the season in which Jesus is the reason. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mother Nature - You Show Off, You

Mother Nature. 

She can be such a show off from time to time. 

Lately, in these parts, she has been having fun; showing us what she can do. 

She has given us unseasonably warm temps. 

Record breaking high of 66 in the Pacific Northwest during the month of December.

She has given us rain.

Lots and lots of rain in which land has eroded to the point of houses finding their way in to the ocean

She has given us what the locals call sunbreaks, in which double rainbows appear magically. 
She has given us wind. 
 
Sustained winds in the 20s and gusts in the 50 plus mph range. 
 
Wind which has the kitty on high alert and me heading to the local hardware store for lamp oil and batteries. 
Not pictured: another lantern, another oil lamp, flashlights, hand lights, and a long reach butane lighter

Fortunately, as the mighty trees swayed and snapped outside, the lights flickered once or twice.  Thankfully we didn't experience power outages and the neighborhood's storm damage was minimal. Others in the area were not as lucky.   

She has also given us fog. 

Show off, Mother Nature. 

I a'int mad at you. 

I appreciate you.

I love you.

You make my soul sing. 

 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Answer the Call



Kindness. 

Appreciated when received. 

Easy to extend, yet difficult to do.

Wednesday night before Thanksgiving found my tribe and me hungry after some intense soul work. 

We wanted pho. 

It was 11:00 PM.

Our local "go to" place is open until midnight on weeknights so we piled in the biggest car and off we went.

For whatever reason, those working this particular night decided only to-go orders would be accepted at 11:15 PM. 

After some grumbling, we piled back in the car and headed to the other pho places in town to see if our craving could and would be satisfied. 

It was not meant to be this night.  We didn't like this.  Nope,  not one bit. The pho beast was calling. 

We were meant to be somewhere else.  Somewhere else we did not want to be but where He wanted us to be. 

This I didn't see until a few days later. 

 God wanted us at IHop. 

Yup, I said it and I believe it.  He called us to IHop. 

See, we arrived and it was what those in the industry call being in the weeds. 

There were only 2 servers, limited kitchen staff, and a lot of people in search of food on a cold, rainy Thanksgiving Eve. 

Two souls, both with a name starting with J - one male, one female - were doing their best to manage. 

Immediately upon our arrival, the phone was ringing.  And ringing.  And ringing.  One of the Js was exasperated from finally making her way to the phone, only to be hung up on.

She had a look in her eye and sigh on her breath. 

A look and sigh that spoke to me.

Ever so softly in my ear I heard - say something

So I did. 

I said something to the effect of, "Girl, I got you.  Lemme get that for you next time.  Thank you for calling IHop, how can I help you. . .is that standard?"

She cracked a smile. 

 The tension eased a tiny bit.  The air around her felt lighter. 

She took the 5 of us to our table. 

I believe she apologized for the wait, said she would be helping the other J out with serving us, and asked what she could get us to drink.

Orders were placed and drinks promptly brought to us.   I honestly don't remember which J brought us our drinks or our food for that matter or which one made sure our drinks didn't run dry.

Throughout the experience I attempted to lighten the load so to speak.  Cracking jokes, spreading kindness, and hoping the other patrons would see their plight and take it easy on them. 

When all was said and done, the Js were professional.  The Js were gracious. The Js were attentive.   

They could have been cranky.  They could have been less attentive.  They could have been any number of things but they chose kindness. 

As we left to check out, one of the kitchen staff was calling for the assistant manager to come in to assist them. 

He or she declined. 

Declined!

When your team calls for help, and it is not the calling wolf kind of help, you show up.  This is my philosophy at least. 

I knew what I had to do. Whether they accepted or not, I was making the offer. I was extending myself. 

Hugs. 

I offered the Js hugs. 

Hugs in which I made them lean in to. 

To take a moment and let a total stranger embrace them.  To let a total stranger extend kindness.  To let a total stranger validate their plight. To let a total stranger bear the burden for a few seconds.  To let a total stranger honor them. 

A few days later a call was placed to the general manager to let him know of their outstanding service. 

A day after that, the tribe and I took each one a card and a pie.  I didn't read what else was written on the card by my people.  I don't need to know. 

To know they wanted to honor, thank and recognize the Js made my heart full.

We will most likely never know what their reaction was to a table of 5 exuberant - possibly obnoxious women - cracking jokes, forcing hugs, calling general managers, dropping off pies and a card.  

That's alright by me. 

What I do know is kindness, gratitude, love, laughter, and answering the whispers is

Appreciated when received 
 
Easy to extend, yet difficult to do
 
 
Go. 

Do. 

It might make all the difference to someone else and bring you joy too.

Peace and Love Y'all.     

Sunday, November 16, 2014

These Days

Fall is upon us. 

As of this evening I have closed the windows to their halfway mark and removed the fan from my bedroom window. 

Even as I type this, I am in slipper socks, lounging pants, a tank top, and a fleece hoodie. 

The fur baby is cuddled up on her woobie, all snug as a bug in a rug on my feet. 

That look you see above is her giving me the eye. 

She's happy I am home but is not a fan of the lap desk blocking her access to my lap.

This has been a common sight lately. 

I wish I could snuggle her all the time but life.  Life calls us to other tasks. 

Some of which I should be doing right now. 

Peace and Love, xoxoMo

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dirty Dozen

I participate in Instagram photo challenges. 

I do so as it gives me an opportunity to be present and capture my surroundings through a camera lens, which more often than not is via my iPhone4S. 

The subjects of the day are usually not items I would choose to take a picture of without prompting. 

I like this aspect of the challenges. 

I enjoy seeing how others interpret their life from the prompting of one word. 

Today's subject was money.

I decided to open my coin purse and see what would randomly fall free from the depths of the faux crocodile patent "leather".  

12 coins. 

12 coins adding up to $1.00. 

12 coins representing all the decades I have been alive. 

Random.

I am intrigued.   

If these coins could talk, what would they say?

Where have they been? 

How many hands have touched them? 

 Their story stops today. 

I am going to mount these coins in a shadow box to remind me to maintain a sense of wonderment, to never cease asking questions, to see and find joy in the simple, to embrace the random, and honor the mystery of every day. 

I had no idea so much would come from a photo challenge asking for money to be captured. 

I'm thankful it did.   



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

'Tis True

'Tis true. 

I am a child of the 80s. 

Sure am. 

So, it makes perfect sense for me to currently be watching the NatGeo channel's series on "the decade that made us". 

It is quite surreal to see and hear the sights and sounds from my formative years as an adult. 

It's almost like opening a time capsule from back in the day. 

Totally.